Last night the UFC returned with another round of fights on Dana White’s Contender Series. The Contender Series took a little bit of a break when the promotion headed overseas for another round of fights on the UFC‘s Fight Island.
However, they were back in the APEX last night and the fights did not disappoint. To me, it seemed like the action went quickly in the octagon. That might be because every fight was finished by knockout including two in the first round.
White was quick to get up last night to go do his post-fight interview. It was very clear that he saw some clear UFC talent amongst the four winners last night. The promotion added some very solid talent last night.
The first fight of the evening featured a heavyweight contest between Jared Vanderaa (11-4) and Harry Hunsucker (6-3). When the fight got underway, it looked like Hunsucker had the big advantage on the feet.
Hunsucker had his hands down at times and appeared to be finding a groove in the first round. However, Vanderaa was able to land a takedown late in the first and he pinned Hucksucker against the fence. Some big ground and pound followed that haulted the action.
Dana White said that the UFC is always looking for heavyweight talent. Vanderaa earned himself a contract with the promotion after the fight last night. Definitely showed some holes in his game, but nothing he can’t clean up with time.
Arguably the most impressive UFC newcomer last night was featherweight Luis Saldana (14-6). Saldana took on Vince Murdock (11-6) in the second fight of the evening. Saldana was the taller fighter and enjoyed a decent reach advantage.
It was a great standup fight, but Saldana was just outclassing the smaller Murdock. Murdock had really good speed and power, but always seemed a little out of reach. Saldana did a beautiful job of sniping from range last night.
In the third round, Saldana landed a beautiful front kick to the face. A nice combination was then followed by another upkick that spelled the end for Murdock. Saldana followed up beautifully to end the fight and earn himself a UFC contract.
The third UFC contract of the evening was handed out to lightweight Ignacio Bahamondes (11-3). Bahamondes took on fellow lightweight Edson Gomez (6-2) in the third fight of the evening. This produced one of the highlight finishes of the evening.
In the first round of the fight, Gomez really tried taking the fight to the ground. Bahomondes was much slicker on the feet and he did a fantastic job of using his range. He also did a really good job of defending takedowns in the first round.
In the second round, Bahamondes really started to go to work. He landed some beautiful combinations including one that knocked Gomez’s mouthpiece out. Just about at the halfway point and Bahamondes landed a nasty front kick knocking Gomez out cold. That’s an easy way to earn yourself a UFC contract.
The final UFC contact of the evening was handed out to light heavyweight, Carlos Ulberg (3-0). Ulberg trains at City Kickboxing alongside the UFC‘s middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. He took on Bruno Oliveira (8-2) in the featured fight last night.
Ulberg entered the cage with professional kickboxing credentials. Oliveira has really good striking as well, however, he relies more on his hands than his kicks. In the first round, Ulberg was doing a fantastic job of using his kicks to keep Oliveira just out of range.
Then out of no where, Ulberg lands a massive combination that sent Oliveira face first into the canvas. A devastating knockout and the UFC has added another solid fighter from New Zealand in the form of Carlos Ulberg.